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Us 13, Mars 6, Washington 4, America 3, Steve 2, Sol 2, Nasa 2, Google 1, Bbc News 1, Julia With Cbc 1, Ben 1, Edl 1, Mega 1, Rob Manning 1, Sam 1, John Grotzinger 1, Steve Or Devin 1, Gavin 1, Facebook 1, Reuters 1,
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  CSPAN    Politics Public Policy Today    News/Business.  

    August 11, 2012
    6:00 - 7:00am EDT  

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about what we now about how this art work performed on the way down. we only have some cursory ideas about how it performed. until we get a detailed, accurate construction, we can only infer. this is an incredibly important piece of data to get because we do not have a lot of experience flying parachutes in a martian atmosphere. we have done it six times before, now 7. we have only done it on our think you times. when you have only done something 10 times or so, there's a lot of extra data on time 11 so it's exciting to see that in a flight test. let's bring up the first image. everyone has seen this. as of about 3:00 a.m. monday morning, this was the most beautiful picture had ever seen in my life. you can tell a lot about how the parachute performed by looking at this picture.
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it has it's perfectly inflated shape. you can see the dark area which is the dense that lets air escape. -- which is the vent. do not see any apparent damage. there are no visible holes or tearing. victor was taken well into the parachute descent, probably 40 or 50 seconds after parachute deployment. we see a perfectly functioning parachute that looks exactly like we thought. that's great news. more than that, we can get some information by looking at the event times. about 239 seconds after entry compared to 241-263 seconds, so we were in the sweet spot where we thought we would be. perhaps a little later in the center which is consistent with
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having less drag than we expected during the entry phase. we can conclude the parachute opened in the conditions we thought it would and we had tested it to open so the pressure regime and loading during the inflation event was good. the second event time we can look at is when the heat shield deployed. it deploys based on a sense of velocity. you very quickly to decelerate from mach 1.7 subsonic to mach .7. that took 20 seconds for the parachute to slow you down that much compared to the pre-data between 16-26 seconds. this is right in the sweet spot of what we predicted which shows us the supersonic draft of the parachute which was very nominal and it has performed beautifully. the third time you can look at is when the actual separation
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happened and that was 95 seconds after he shield separation. we have a large dispersion on what we expected anywhere between 60-150 seconds where we could have been descending slowly. this is mostly due to not knowing what altitude precisely the parachute would deploy and out and also not knowing the subsonic drag the person was going to provide. the fact we are in the middle of that time when this suggests not only that the parachute performed perfectly but that the deploy altitude was fairly nominal and what we expected. these are all implications. we do not know them for sure. based on the limited data we have, this is what we can infer. the second thing i want to discuss with you is what we call list mode. it is the behavior of the capsule underneath the parachute.
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at the capsule is suspended below the parachute, it will not be perfectly still. it will wobble. that is the risk. there are some dynamics that we want to keep a very slight. he did not want the capsule going all over the place for a variety of reasons. the separation event is designed to have fairly benign motion. when you separate the heat shield cleanly, you do not want the capsule dancing all over the place. the other thing is we have these radar beams trying to measure altitude and velocity of the spacecraft in relative to the ground. they may be looking for a faraway and measuring some terrain feature that we really do not care about. if you could bring up the movie, this is the thumbnail version of the movie and you can see it dancing around. this is good evidence of risk mode as the camera field of
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view changes. what we know from the real time data and from this image is that risk mode was very benign and consistent with what we expected. during the mars exploration rover entries, we were surprised a little bit. we saw some risk mode behavior that was a little higher than we expected. we could are really explain the physics that went into that. we had to figure out how to model less better and better understand the physics of risk mode. the observed risk mode aligned very well with our pre-date as of this gives us confidence. one interesting thing you will see in the video is that the ground is spanning which is consistent with the capsule
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rotating underneath the parachute at between one and two degrees per second. during the 92nd -- 90-second dissent, we do 1 degree per second. not a lot of exciting things happening because everything was right down the pipe of what we expected, but that is how we wanted it. one other thing i want to point out, if you can bring up the third image, this is nice because it is verification of an edl requirement. we have countless of them. this is almost three seconds after he chield's separation. the heat shield is about 15 -- heat shield separation. until it is 15 meters away, we are nervous about the radar
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because it is possible that more than one radar beam can see the heat shield during those first meters of motion. then they can get a close out the to that will be rejected. we want to get the heat shield 50 meters away as quick as possible. the requirement was 50 meters in 5 seconds and this shows us we got 50 meters in 3 seconds, so that is one verification that we can check. we met our requirements. with that, i will let steve talk about powered descent. >> i want to talk about what happens during power dissent. we are on the back shell of the rover and the dissent stages are in the backside. we get about 1 mile of altitude and we dropped and free-fall for one second and then we'll buy the engines and divert to the side so we do not run into
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the parachute that is still coming down behind us. it is vertical flight all the way to the ground. i want to bring up the rest of the video devin started. this is 3.80 frames per second. we're starting out here with some risk mode dynamics, the back-and-forth and then you can see it it really still right here. the dissent engines have started here and we are now under powered flight. the first thing that happens is we divert to the side so you can see the ground moving. its 120 degrees off vertical to avoid the back shell. then it starts to straighten out again. it will basically snapped to straight vertical. we go through the rest of power dissent and you can see the
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plumes affecting the ground and then you will see the wheel brought into place as we lower mobility. then the camera goes pretty dark as began writing to the other. -- we begin getting into the dirt. from the data we have received, we flew this right down the middle. it's absolutely incredible to have worked on a plan for so many years and just see everything happen exactly according to plan. as we're watching this on landing night, it was like all of these contingency plans that we had made leading up to edl, about losing communication here or there, we do not know where it lands, these are all just being waves lifted off our shoulders as we were able to
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watch all the data come in -- weights lifted off our shoulders because everything went according to plan. as you can see, when we hit the ground, the next thing that happens is the flyaway maneuver. we were extremely lucky, but it was a planned event. if you go to the next image, we were lucky enough -- can you go one more? sorry. there. if you look in the left image, we believe we have caught what is the descent stage impact on the martian surface. this photo was taken about 40 seconds after touchdown. the predicted time of flight is about 20 seconds or so it would have already impacted by the time this image was taken. the evidence that we have that this was something that we caused was the fact that it was the same image from the same camera taken 45 minutes later and the artifacts is not there
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anymore. we do know that the art back to israel because it appears in multiple pictures from the rear of the rover. -- we do know that the image is real. that is where the dissent should have flown away. when it hits the ground, it's going about 100 miles per hour and we expected it to kick up quite a bit of dust. we selected the rear camera to be the first image in the timing of the pictures, both front and rear, were timed so that we could catch any kind of cloud like this. the fact that the descent stage flew directly after the rover was an amazing coincidence so we were able to catch the impact. you also saw in the video, as we retouching down we began kicking up dust.
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if you can go to the image before? i want to show you something that i personally find so incredibly moving. you're looking off the left side. i have the model year. you can see the camera, and a shot from the navcam looking down that way off of the left side of the rover. you can see two divets in the ground. we blasted those with our rocket engines so that makes me happy. as you might expect, landing on mars is a very dirty event. fore basically off roading the next two years so we expected some debris to get on things. if you take your suv out and use it off-road coming expected to get dirty. we want to start off day one with a little bit of dirt. you never liked having the brand
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news anchors that are nice and shiny. you can see -- you never liked having the brand new sneakers. again, you can see this as more evidence that we did have the lift off with rockets, so that's pretty cool. [laughter] with that, i will turn it over to jody running yesterday predicted vs. actual trajectory. >> thanks, steve. i will talk about two things. first, we will go through a google mars' animation. and actually has our latest project -- latest predicted trajectory prior to landing. then we will go through after landing and i will use the simulation and what we got from curiosity at touchdown to determine where we thought we landed and how that actually compared to where we really landed. if i could have the video? this is google mars and this is
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real simulation data. we're going to the first bank reversal, second and third, and this is only half the angle of the bank reversal. it goes over four times real time. we actually used to google mars to analyze the trajectory to see this in 3d space instead of just numbers on white paper. this is taki us through the entry balance mass jettison and we will pitch over and look at the landing site. we will actually see a few pans. now, this trajectory is what we assumed is the nominal trajectory that would based off of the latest and greatest navigation that we got prior to landing. this takes a glance over the crater. the parachute deploys. this is a configuration that we were at. parachute deployed happened
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about 10:15, mars time pacific. here is the heat shield separation, 20 seconds after. 18 seconds after that, we had radar lock up. that happened about 1.5 kilometer higher than what we expected. that's a good thing. 77 seconds after that, we had actual separation. it was as expected and things were looking nominal. the, we've pan down from rover and it's all as the expected. i want to point out that the american flag sitting under the rover, shout out to google mars. they put our landing location in google mars' already. that was pretty neat. so this is out things were
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looking and we would compare after entry, after touching down. if we can move to the next figure, now this is after landing. we want to know, where is the rover? an estimate of where we think is so that folks can find this using high rise from mro will have a good idea. we did touchdown information, and we take that information and account for our known errors such as navigation errors, and we come up with the best estimate. that is the green diamond. this was actually shown right after landing. this was our prediction, latest and greatest that we had immediately after. some of you may have already seen this kind of set up the next figure that i have. here, we have the landing target, that same light blue ellipse.
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like gavin said, the landing target, we missed it by about a mile and a half. it is actually of the graphic there to the left. the green diamond is where we thought we landed right afterwards, and that is the estimate we gave to the localization folks to try to find the rover. we thought it would be within a, a terror of that. the red x is where we actually landed. so our estimation of where we actually landed was only 200 meters apart, well within that 1 kilometer green circle. so we were very happy about that. now, shifting gears, if you look to the right, you'll see the entry masses. or we thought this would land, they are within the dark blue ellipse.
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if you look, where we expected those to land, there are six blue circles. they actually show the same trends that have been shown from the ctx which was shown a couple days ago with the actual landing location of those balance masses. that is the overlay figure that you see. you can see those locations are well within the error ellipse that is drawn. those actually impacted what was expected.
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that is kind of to give you a flavor of what is to come. this is based off of minimal data that we have so far. stay tuned. this is a huge effort, and it is going to be exciting when we get the rest of the data back to really be able to tell what happened during edl. with that, i pass it off to ben. >> as jody just talked about, all of the hardware that we jettisoned as we successfully landed on mars last sunday, i will talk about what we will do next on the surface which is to jettison edl software can now move onto our surface software. it is the software that runs on board curiosity, and it controls all the outboard a function of the rover. the software is responsible for the autonomous functions during cruise. this software is also what we have been using to do the characterization face up until now. if you think about it, what is hard about this -- think about my phone. my phone has a processor that is 10 times as fast as the processor that is on curiosity,
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and that is -- it has 16 times as much storage as curiosity has. and all my phone has to do is follow twitter feeds. [laughter] the challenging part about this is that my phone would not survive the journey to mars, so we have to build computers that are robust enough to survive the harsh interplanetary space, and are certain limitations we have including the size of the flight software image that we have. that forces us to update the flight software to add new capabilities. when we launched back in november, we included four major applications in the software. we had the launch/cruise application. we had our edl application. the first version. the first version of the surface flight software.
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and we had a fourth application which was the capability for us to update the software while we work in route to mars. unlike the hardware, which once we launch is gone, the software, we can radiate those bits to mars and have them catch up to rover. this software update capability has been exercised already. we used it in the first week of june to update the edl software. to go from the four applications in the launch/cruise software, we get to our final version of the edl software. this is edl v2.0. we exercise this software update capability. we added v1.1 of the surface software. but we cannot put all of the service software into the flight software image we had in the first week of june, because
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there was not enough space for it. we have a limitation on the size of the flight software image. what we did was we unloaded in cruise the r10 version of the softer, but we did not actually install it. that gives us not just the basic service capabilities but also as in the ability for us to use the sampling system on the rover. those are our two new apps coming in the r10. and we will be updating to the r10 flights offer. first of all, sampling systems. right now, we have the capability to check out the health of the systems, but we do not have the ability to make the full use of all this great
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software that we ship with us to mars. we want to use the robotic arms fully. use the drills. use the whole sampling change. to ingest those samples into sam. all this exciting stuff that you'll see this mission to over the next few months and years on mars. that comes from the capabilities that are in this r10 software. curiosity is a martian mega- rover. it was born to drive. the r10 software includes smarts to efficiently drive the rover. it has the autonomous driving abilities. the ability for the rover to drive using onboard images to detect hazards and to drive safely across the surface of mars, and this will be what we use when we set out on our first drive here on mars. r10, and like r9 -- r9 was for edl.
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r10 is optimized for surface. it has a lot of great stuff that the science team and the surface team wants. that is why we're willing to spend some time doing the install. where we are right now is that we just completed our sol4 activities. that was to prepare for the installation of the flights offer. everything was good. we got the go to proceed forward with his four-day installation process of installing the sol software on the rover. it takes a long for us to do the full install, because we want to do it safely and do it step by step and a take our time. on sol 5, we will do a toe dip. we will move into the r10 software but not installed it fully, just to check it out.
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we will look at the data from the rover to make sure the software is functioning normally. everything looks good, on sol 6, we will commit to r10. once we have the software and everything is working well on the prime computer with the r10 virus software, we will do the same thing except on our back up computer. on sol 7, we will do another note toe dip. on sol 8, we will do a full comment. we will be ready to go with r10. >> thank you. we're going to begin with questions here in the auditorium. then we will go to the phone lines. we will start on the very front. give us your name and affiliation. >> hello. joe from npr. two questions. one is, when you talk about capturing the ground with the
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radar. were you capturing a wide swath of mars the was the radar able to differentiate between a bumpy place and a smooth place? this is the question is, if you were to run this mission again today, would you make that ellipse smaller or are you at the limits of what this system can actually do? >> i can take the first part. the radar is fixed to the descent stage. it is at the mercy of where the risk mode chooses to point it in terms of what ground it is going to be measuring. it does not do discrimination. if we have a wild risk mode and the radar measures the top of mount sharp, which cannot actually do, but hypothetically, it would be measuring the altitude relative to that point. one of the reasons we picked the landing ellipse we did was
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that we knew they all tested across the entire landing ellipse did not vary that much, and no matter what terrain feature the radar was pointed at, the altitude measure relative to that terrain feature would be close enough that we've instilled separate from the back shell at the right point. and around the moment of back shell separation, the radar is certainly looking within about a kilometer of the ultimate landing site. our criteria is we want the altitude of the ground to a very no more than about 100 meters within a kilometer range from the touch down at location. >> for the second question, can we get the ellipse size smaller next time? it depends on where your landing. if it is a higher elevation site, we may need more ellipse to make sure we can land our heavy rover higher.
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but it probably would shave a couple miles off of it. we have to look at the data and see if we are correct with measurements. but i am confident that we can continue to do at least as good as curiosity and better in the future. >> big parts of ellipse tend to be the atmosphere and aerodynamics. what we learned from the construction over the next few months will help us look at that. >> ok, one more question. then we will go to the phone line. >> thank you. craig with aerospace america. i guess maybe for steve or devin, was the altitude accordion capability playing a role here or was everything so tight that did it just did not matter? >> the accordion that we had
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allocated was 100 meters, so we allow for our estimate of were the ground was to be wrong by up to 100 meters. from the data we have gotten so far, it was wrong by 3 meters. so we overachieved in that area as well. it was right down the middle. >> ok. the second question, since edl has been achieved, i guess to the whole edl team, a show fans may be on how many people are going to be looking for another job -- serious question. [laughter] really. [laughter] thank you. >> i do not think we have started to think about that yet. we're still relishing the success. >> and a lot of us will be involved in the reconstruction as well. futurere thinking about projects and what we're going to be working on, definitely. >> ok, thank you.
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>> we're going to go to the phone line next. julia with canadian broadcasting. >> hello, this is julia with cbc. i have a couple of questions about the naming process. how did you decide to call the curiosity landing site gale? -- yellow knife? >> i think that is a question you'll have to ask the surface team. john grotzinger is certainly willing to talk about that at length. >> is the basic idea that there are old rocks on mars, and there are some of the oldest rocks in the world in yellowknife. was there more to it than that? >> unfortunately, you are just talking to the delivery guys here. >> yeah, we're just movers. [laughter] >> maybe you can tell me if it is normal practice to name the landing sites after cities in the world?
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[laughter] >> i think the naming convention was done by the science team. i am looking for a member but i do not see one. oh, wait, i do see one. let me see if she is prepared to answer the question. let us get her a microphone. >> perfect, thank you. >> i do not fully know what is behind the name, but i can make one correction which it is a quadrangle name. i think you heard in previous press conferences that the whole ellipse was divided up into these quadrangles of that are about a mile by a mile in size and each one of those was mapped by a team member. and we got ready right before landing with geologically significant names that related to things like ancient geology, things on earth that tie in to our theme of science. yellowknife is this one.
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but i cannot answer all the questions that you asked. but i wanted to set that straight. it is the name of the quadrangle that we landed in. >> are all the other quadrangles named also? >> they will be. we're getting those lined up. >> but it is the quadrangle that the curiosity landed in? >> yes. >> ok, do you know if it is normal practice to name these things or is this unique to this project? >> what is unique to this project was the dividing up of the ellipse into quadrangles and mapping ahead of time. that was driven by the wonderful orbital data sets that we had. we wanted to get ready by doing this mapping so that we could more quickly do strategic planning a where to send the rover and understand where we landed. >> did you speak about the similarities between the rocks
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and surface on mars compared to what is here in yellowknife? >> not yet. [laughter] >> is the basis between digging the name yellowknife and the age of the rocks? >> they are on the order of 2.7 billion years old. so we went to mars to get at the ancient geology, because that is where we think there might be evidence for past environments similar to on earth. so it is connected in that way. simply ancient rocks that might preserve evidence of past environment favorable for life. >> one more question. what did you want in yellowknife have been consulted before this or is this purely based on geological similarities? >> not that i know of, but i was not totally plugged into the naming and how it was done. >> if you like to call our newsroom, we would like to put you on the phone with the person who came up with the name. we are going to take a couple more questions in the room. then we will go back to the phone lines.
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>> hello. john, bbc news. did mars express see all the way down to the ground? i know people in europe or thinking they may miss the actual landing. >> to my knowledge, they did not get to the ground. this is per my predict. >> the second one, has anybody sort of studied the debris field to consider what broke apart and what happened? >> we have another imaging opportunity coming up six days after landing where we're going to take another image of the lander and the debris field that will have better resolution and will be a cleaner image. we might be able to see more detail. there's not a lot of detail in our current image because it was taken as such a weak angle.
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we're waiting for the better image. >> ok, next. >> hello. this is for ben. as someone who is perhaps not as cell phone and technologically attuned as others, i was hoping you could go over what the capabilities were relative to a cell phone, and two, if you could walk us through how you can do that, how you can have so much credibility on mars based on software that is less than what you have in a cell phone. >> yes, the rover as a radiation hardened processor. it actually has two of them. two redundant elements. the processor runs at 133 gigahertz, so if you think about your phone having a one
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gigahertz processor and your processor having 2.5, the processing power in our rover is much less. but we do have full computers in the rover. we have a prime and redundant back up. they have onboard flash storage. i talked about the storage of my phone. 64 gigabytes. the rover has 34. since we're designing this custom software, we're able to optimize for the particular application. when we were writing the edl software, we knew the limitations of our software and we were able to focus it to make edl successful. when you have a team like this, they will find a way to make it work. it is the ultimate reason about how we were able to do it, we have a lot of very talented software engineers. when they're given a challenge, they meet it, and they were able to get it to work on the slower processor.
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the reason why we wait for the r10 flight software is because now we can have a version that is optimized for the surface. weekend focus on the surface as part of it the mission. we do not have to think about some of the additional overhead that loads down the system. by going to r10, we are freeing up some of our processor implications. >> and processing does not change it all. even though you're going to need more, it will be doing a lot more things now on the surface. >> the core processor speed does not change. we are running a lot less staff. that is how we gain back some of that margin.
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>> [inaudible] >> yes, the processor is much faster. >> next, the phone line. a call from reuters. >> thank you. my first question is following up on the first question about honing in this landing target even more. the system is being touted as -- i think the phrase was, a workhorse for the future. i was wondering if this will make the cut for future missions, including supplies or some of these other farther off things that have been talked about. if you can talk more about what you said about being able to tweak that by a few miles, what exactly would that entail? >> one of the important things
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that curiosity demonstrates is an incredible tool for the future missions to take advantage of. i think it depends on the mission that we look at using in the future. are we looking to land that target near a base or a sample we want to bring back? there are a few things that we have already imagined, and i think we will come up with some other ideas after we look at the data to see how we can make it better. >> it is safe to say that we're already looking at it. >> thank you. by the question, i think i saw a jpl blog post that rob manning won the bingo game of where it was going to land. curious if there's anything more than accolades with that guess? >> we had multiple bingo games
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among different groups of people. the biggest one was a giant poster, about 10 feet long, that was printed out. rob was the closest. he was one of what we call our grumlins who operated our readiness testing, so we believe he may have rigged the system somehow. [laughter] >> ok, back in the room. >> i just wanted a little more information if any of you have it about the already iconic photograph of the parachutes descending with the rover below it. this picture had to be programmed far in advance -- is that right? >> yeah, that is right. we provided the first timing that we wanted this parachute picture to be taken way back in april.
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targeted for about six minutes after entry. the goal was to make sure that we focus on and if things do not go well. we wanted to see if we saw an inflated parachute or not an inflated parachute to see if there was damage or not. so the goal was to do it long enough to make sure the parachute was inflated but not too late that it already hit the ground. >> [inaudible] >> it is certainly very difficult. it was a little bit more uncertain this time than it was for phoenix. it is on the high-rise camera, mro. and it was coming overhead. we had to be roughly 5.5 kilometers to 6 kilometers of the landing target to make sure we were in the picture. guided entry helped with that a lot. the picture is also a confirmation of the precision with which we landed.
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>> just some stats on that photograph. it is about one second or so before mle priming. an altitude of about 3,000 meters. and descending probably about 80 meters per second at this point. >> clearly, i love this picture. [laughter] pre-landing day, we guessed we had about a chance of actually getting this picture. just based on the fact that the field of view of the high-rise camera does not cover the entire landing ellipse, so it was about. >> one more in the room. then we will go to the phone lines. >> when does the installation of the software upgrade begin on earth time? would that be tomorrow? it is supposed to go four days.
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>> it goes through sol 8. it starts later today. it goes through sol 8. 4 days from today. >> in a more consumer-friendly, can you explain what you think were the factors in their being a 1.5 mile deviation from your ideal landing spot? >> i mean, it was all ideal, right? it was inside the ellipse. we're still looking at the data. we had an event pretty late that lost as a little bit. we do not have time to correct for that before we started aligning it for the center of the ellipse. we were sensitive to the headwind and tailwind.
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we wanted to construct what the winds were during the day we landed. >> you thought it might have been a tailwind in this case. >> that was suggested. >> we have a phone call. >> you kind of already touched on some of this, but i hate to drag you back there. but if you are an astrobiology to on this mission, you probably would be a little concerned about the kick up of material off mars and scattering on top of the rover. is there anything that could be done with longer tethers or less powerful engines, anything like that that would fit into a new design of a sky crane, particularly if we are going to use the device in the future? >> certainly one way that you could help mitigate doing this is actually using a longer
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tether. we analyzed this very heavily during development of curiosity, and we tried to keep -- strike the balance between keeping them short enough to be manageable and reducing the amount of debris that we would kick up. all along, we consulted with the instruments and the cognizant engineers on the rover top deck to make sure that they were in the loop about knowing that debris could be up there and to what extent it could be there. so everything we have seen in the pictures and the data that we got during landing, it is all as expected. >> ok, thanks very much. >> we have another call on the phone line.
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>> i have two questions. could you confirm that the surface software you will switch over to -- that was used during crews? -- cruise? is there any signs that the rover can be doing during installation? >> we applaud the software and had it stored once we got down to the surface. we do have the capability to upload software on the surface and we actually plan to continue to update the software as we go through the mission. it did not necessarily need to be uploaded, but we chose that as the opportunity to upload the software because it was ready. as far as science goes, this is
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an engineering activity. we are mostly focusing on just getting done engineering. >> thank you. >> here in front. go ahead. >> i am with the planetary society. were there any surprises? in edl? was the biggest surprise that it actually went better than expected? [laughter] >> yes. there were a couple of surprises we were going to look into. we landed with more fuel than we expected. and not a bad situation to be in, necessarily. we want to take a look at it. there are a couple of indication sent to earth that seem
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unlikely. we want to look at that to see if anything is real. we are working with 1 megabyte of the 60 mb -- 100 mb we hope to get. the best thing for us to do is wait and get the full data set to go through that in detail. >> ok. the personal question for you -- you have been through landing before with mer. you announced a curiosity landing. how does that fit in your repertoire of life moments? >> way up there. this has been an amazing week. >> thank you. >> i am with irish television. i want to talk about the descent stage. looking to the future, since there seems to be a game changer, are there are obvious ways that you would do it differently? for instance, it would seem that it is over-engineered for
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safety reasons. are there obvious things that you would do differently straightaway? do you envision this being a much lighter vehicle next time? >> there are minor things we would probably change if we had to do it again, but one of the best ways to do lower-cost, more reliable missions is to stick with what works and i would not say that the system was over designed at all. it was designed to allow the scientists to choose where they wanted to explore on mars. they have been to pick a place that had a nice flat landing pad next to it get so as a team, we kind of got lucky because the science story they wanted to go to have a parking lot. we were able to take advantage of that and had we landed on --
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had we used it to its extent, we would have been able to handle much larger rocks. we would change very minor things. >> we have a call on the line. go ahead. >> thank you. congratulation on a great success. would you be able to apply any of these guided entry techniques to the airbag system? to make that far more precise. >> thank you. we could, but it would require using jets to control the orientation during the hypersonic flight. >> thank you. >> any more questions?
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go ahead. >> is there any heat shield data? >> there is the edl data. we are just getting it back right now. the recorded data has gotten down and we are looking at it. it is safe to say we have the data. we trickled several tons -- told usered tones that how it performed. >> do you have a peak temperature? >> we do not right now. the medley team is already
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looking at that information, but we need to correlate that against the space track trajectory. >> a question here. >> you had said that three using technology is the best to cut costs. if you were to do something like this again, we would be talking about half price? [laughter] >> i am not falling into that trap. we would have to look at the numbers to see exactly what a real -- a rebuild with look like. >> ok. we have a project scientist in the room who wants to talk about the naming of that quadrangle. go ahead. >> i want to make sure that everybody is on the same page. i am happy to answer questions afterward.
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this is not the name of the landing site. yellowknife is the name of the quadrangle. that is an option because in north america, if you ask what is the port of call you leave from to go on the great nations of geological mapping? it is yellowknife. you cannot take a train. from there, you have to get in a push plane. we thought it would be kind of cool because our mapping procedure will involve these different quadrangles and it is a great tradition that was started here on earth. >> thank you. we have a question in the very back. get your microphone.
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>> i am with kbbc. this landing happened in the middle of the olympics. i cannot turn on facebook or twitter without somebody talking about it. i wanted to know if the total love and embrace of the public is surprising you can what are the more interesting things you have seen in the public's fear about curiosity? have you gotten any cool reaction? >> i can say a couple of words about that. i have actually been overwhelmed by the amount of social media interaction. i get questions on twitter and e-mails and facebook. it is great to be able to be completely in touch with the
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public. it was kind of hard to follow all of this outside activities that were going on when you are in the control room and focused on making sure its land safely. it will take me weeks to get through all of this. >> i think is great. it actually shows that america is interested in what is going on. i hope the communication and social media keeps rolling along. things are very exciting. >> did you guys think he would
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be such rock stars? [laughter] >> sometimes you worry that we are not that interested in doing this anymore. >> social media has been overwhelming. the biggest surprise is the enormous feeling of accomplishment associated with the successful landing and how much that is amplified by having such an awesome group of co- workers. there are thousands of people that put this together and everybody has worked with tremendous dedication. everybody here is fantastic to work with. it makes it sweeter to share with other people.
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>> do we have any more questions? we have one up here in the front. >> thank you. i am with aerospace america. how important was that two-year delay to the ultimate success of the mission so far? >> critical. we were not ready in 2009. as a project, we were not ready. it is easy to point figures, but we are all in this together. you know, the proof is in the pudding. >> ok. i believe that is it. no more questions for today. i want to tell everyone that this is our final news conference for this week. be sure to follow us online for updates.
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all of that information can be found canwww.nasa.gov/msl or at jpl.nasa.gov. next week.more news thank you for joining us. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> this weekend -- >> we are selling george washington's personal copy of the act of congress. we will start the building at -- bidding at $1,300,000. >> sunday at 7:00 p.m., from american artifacts, the auction
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of george washington's 100 page act of congress. inside, along with the constitution, a draft of the bill of rights. this includes washington's notes. also, more from "of the contenders." >> as it has been said, in the worst of times, a great people must do the best of things. let us do it. >> this week, hubert humphrey. sunday at 7:30 p.m. "american history tv" on c- span3. >> next, your calls and comments on "washington journal." then, the democratic national committee platform meets in to -- meet in detroit to vote on a final version to preve

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